With all this talk about Christmas, nobody has even started to think about NYE. Once the carols have been sung and Santa's cookies have been eaten, it's officially time to start planning a rockin' New Year's Eve. But that only leaves you with about five days to make your plans, pick out your outfit, and decide where/what you'll be eating when you ring in the new year. 

For those of you who don't feel like dropping a wad of cash at a restaurant or a bar (or a taxi for that matter), consider staying in this NYE and cooking up a feast for you and some friends. Any of these recipes will kick a restaurant/bar menu's butt. Not to mention they'll save you from starting off the new year totally broke. 


You know the night's going to be off to a great start if you nail the first course. Appetizers are by far the best course because you can put in almost no effort but if you make them tiny, they'll look bougie AF.

Exhibit A: These crostini, which is really just a fancy word for a small piece of hard bread. Yum.

Cranberry Pomegranate Crostini

If you're planning on hosting some friends for NYE, this is a great pass-around dish. It'll give you all the holiday feels even though the holidays are over, and come on, who doesn't love finger foods?

Baked Brie With Rosemary

vegetable, meat
Alexandra Redmond

If you're like me and you drool at anything involving cheese, you have to make this baked brie. Use that crostini recipe you just learned (AKA toasting bread) and whip up a baked ball of gooey goodness for dipping and spreading. It's practically impossible to screw up and it'll make you look like a master chef. 

DIY Guacamole 

Guacamole never disappoints. Ever. So, if you're feeling a bit nervous about being the host for the night, go for this simple crowd pleaser. You'll get bonus points for making it from scratch and you'll be able to make it as spicy or mild as you and your guests like it. Hey, even make a couple of batches and have a variety of guacamoles so you're sure to please everyone.

Avocado and Pear Salad

marinated cucumber, parsley, basil, salad, herb, vegetable
Marina Wollmann

Okay, so maybe you love avocado but you really want to impress your guests with something upscale. That's where salad comes in. Salads are the easiest way to look like you know what you're doing when all you have to do is cut stuff up. You can fill your salad craving (because yes, sometimes we crave salad) without committing to salad for your whole meal like you might do at a restaurant. 


Who's ready for the main course? It's time to wow everyone (or that special someone) with some home-cooked main dishes that make it look like you worked your butt off. Key words: "look like."


tenderloin, sirloin, fillet, pepper, pork, barbecue, meat, beef, steak
Kathleen Lee

I'm not a huge steak eater myself, but I couldn't pass up the opportunity to seriously impress people (and myself) with a killer piece of meat. This recipe might take a bit of time, but it's worth it. It's a special night so you might as well pull out the big guns and make your last meal of 2016 memorable.

Pan-Seared Scallops

sauce, risotto, meat, vegetable, rice
Meredith Davin

This is some hardcore adulting right here. Scallops are a personal favourite of mine, and a dish I would normally never try recreating on my own, but hey, it's never too early to start on those new years resolutions. This dish is high class and perfect if you're dining in with a small group or even alone. Treat yo self.

Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Brown Butter Sage Sauce and Pancetta

gnocchi, meat, chicken
Ethan Cappello

I get it, some people don't want to serve meat and seafood, some people just like to get down with a bowl of pasta. But it's NYE, I can't let you serve a bowl of spaghetti and tomato sauce at your high-class, low-effort dinner. And in comes the super fancy pasta dish that you think you can't make but is actually pretty fool proof. This dish says, "hey look I spent all day in the kitchen for you guys," when it really only takes 30 minutes. But nobody needs the know that.

Restaurant-Quality Fish

Kristine Mahan

Here's a simple, yet sophisticated fish recipe that will send you into the new year feeling all clean and healthy. It takes under 25 minutes to make, and while it's in the oven you can start working on those side dishes that take any dinner from basic to bougie.


No dinner is complete without some side dishes. They don't have to be super fancy but they make the plate look nice and full, and show your guests that you've really thought this meal through.

Cheesy, Bacon-Filled, Twice Baked Potatoes

pizza, egg, cheddar, cheese, bacon
Jennifer Elias

The potato is the king of all foods. Sadly, potatoes have yet to be recognized as a food group of their own, so you might get some funny looks if you just serve up potatoes for dinner (although I wouldn't complain). But you can definitely sneak a potato dish  or two into your fancy dinner. These fully loaded potatoes will satisfy all your cheesy, gooey, potato-ey cravings this NYE.

Steam Roasted Vegetable

salad, vegetable, broccoli
Kristine Mahan

Simple yet delicious. Everyone will love a nice, heaping side of vegetables cooked to perfection. Screw everyone who hates on veggies, they're delicious. They go with any dish and you can pick and choose your favourite ones. Don't like carrots? Don't make 'em.

Homemade Sweet Potato “Fries”

sauce, vegetable, meat, potato, sweet, sweet potato
Lauren D'Amore

Another potato dish, but can you blame me? This could potentially be the easiest recipe of all time, except maybe instant ramen. Three ingredients. 20 minutes. No excuses. Everyone loves sweet potato fries, they just feel classier, right?


Ah dessert, the only course that really matters. It's always nice to have a little variety when it comes to dessert. Something chocolatey, something cakey, and some fruit for those people. Instead of working your butt off on one masterpiece of a cake, try making a bunch of little things that'll satisfy everyone.

Lava Cake

cake, chocolate, cream
Jocelyn Hsu

These are awesome because everyone gets their own pile of ooey gooey lava goodness. This one's for the chocolate lovers out there. They're pretty simple to make but very easy to overcook. Don't worry if you do, you'll just have a denser chocolate cake, but if you're all about the lava then follow the directions exactly.

Nutella Egg Rolls

You may have skipped the egg rolls for appetizers, but no worries, they're here. These Nutella egg rolls are the perfect end to your NYE dinner. They're easy to share and can be eaten with your hands if that's your style. These warm, chocolatey treats can be topped with anything you want from fresh fruit to ice cream. Get creative here.

3-Ingredient Oreo Fudge

Fudge can truly be customized to whatever flavour you'd like. As long as you have the base down, you're free to experiment with anything you'd like. Oreo is a pretty good flavour though if you ask me. Oreo flavoured anything has me hooked and this Oreo flavoured fudge has me wishing NYE would come sooner.

Pecan Pie Bars

cake, apple pie, pecan, caramel apple, pie, apple, caramel
Rachel Dean

Instead of wasting time on a whole pie that will leave you with tempting leftovers well into the new year, make bars. These handheld versions of pecan pies are way more practical than the OG, and I promise you won't be missing out on any flavour.


Of course, you'll need to classy drinks to welcome the new year. It's time to get creative and try some cool new drinks you wouldn't dare order at the bar because those cocktails are hella expensive. But hey, you're the bartender now, so ditch the cheap shots and mix up something that doesn't make you hate yourself as you wash it down with cheap chase.

Caramel Apple Sangria

Rebecca Moses

Dessert or drinks? Who cares. Drink something that actually tastes good for once and forget that you're a college student who would usually be spending the night desperately trying to make cheap vodka go down easily. Tonight you're a VIP and you deserve only the finest drinks.

Fancy Mojitos

We might be freezing over here in Canada, but some places are in need of a nice refreshing mojito this NYE. But it really doesn't matter what the weather is like on December 31st, mojitos are great year round, and these recipes will take the classic cocktail to a new level.

Spiked Coffee

chocolate, cream, ice, cappuccino, milk, tea, espresso, coffee
Phoebe Melnick

If you're planning on a smaller, more intimate night in, try ending off your meal with a warm, spiked coffee. Add Bailey's Irish Cream, or the liqueur of your choice. You'll feel like you're at a nice restaurant sipping your nightcaps when in fact you'll be in the comfort of your own home (probably in PJs). 

Cranberry Cocktail

martini, aperitif, vodka, liquor, ice, wine, juice, alcohol, cocktail
Claire Tromblee

If you just can't get over the fact that the holidays are done, mix up a cocktail that'll remind you of a merrier time. This Cranberry Cocktailis crazy simple and only takes four minutes to make. It's the perfect cocktail to sip with your girlfriends while you rave about how amazing 2017 is going to be. 

Ditch the hectic scene of NYE this year and tell your friends you're all staying in. Promise them the ultimate home cooked meal and with these recipes, you'll definitely deliver. Save some cash so you'll have something to spend when 2017 rolls around, and have a stressless, fun, NYE with all the people you actually want to spend time with.